Theo Walcott continues to make a good case for himself to finally get a role through the centre of Arsenal’s attack. His well-taken goal for the Gunners away at West Ham was another impressive finish to add to the two goals against Coventry in the League Cup. But is it enough to warrant a starting role for Arsene Wenger’s side?

I’m yet to be convinced of Walcott as a leading striker for a top Premier League team. He may flourish into one in the near future, but I’m not seeing it now. Goals in the manner that he put them away are impressive, despite the opposition, but the best thing the player can do at the moment is keep his head down and continue on the same path.

The injury while on international duty will be a big blow, and it’s something we’ve seen in the past from Walcott. He’ll get himself set for a good run of scoring form only to be sidetracked by injury. It was a regular occurrence prior to last season and was arguably a big contribution to his slow development. However, even with the issue of a new contract needing to be ironed out before January, Arsene Wenger may not totally trust Walcott as his central figure in attack.

There’s no doubt that the player can come off the bench and make an impact. Champions League ties against AC Milan and Liverpool in the past are good evidence of that, but we’re not seeing the second half scoring performance against Tottenham in last season’s 5-2 win regularly enough. The first half in that game was typical Walcott. Poor first touch and no great contribution is how those first 45-minutes will be remembered. Even the recent loss to Chelsea in the league saw Walcott provide very little, and that was also from an appearance off the bench.

Quite plainly, there’s nothing about Theo’s game that suggests he’s ready for the responsibility of the team’s main striker. But I do believe he’ll become one in the future.

He’s had enough with the wide position in the right flank, and rightfully so. Walcott was never a winger, despite his pace, and he lacks the attributes of a traditional wide player to be effective. He also doesn’t have the aggression and drive that you’d like to see from a key attacking player. He seems too hesitant to take a defender on and use his pace, often dithering on the ball and eventually losing possession. However, that may just be another indication that he’s not good enough for a role in the build-up play.

This system that Arsenal want to deploy using differing attacking styles with Gervinho and Olivier Giroud may work in Walcott’s favour. What if he does start putting away all his chances from the bench? What if he doesn’t use just one or two examples and point to his readiness for a central role? A flurry of goals and consistently good performances will only leave the manager with thoughts about starting Walcott. It’s another option for Arsenal and another system that will only leave the opposition ill-prepared.

I’ve made the point in the past that Walcott can’t be used as the striker in games where the opposition defend deep and have no intention to attack. In games such as those, Walcott becomes close to useless. He doesn’t have the intelligence to get behind a packed defence, nor has he displayed an ability to hold the ball up for his team mates.

Part of the reason he’s been so good coming off the bench is because the opposition have been worn out. They’re in no state to deal with his pace in the 80th minute of a game, often allowing him to race past and advance on goal. It was the theme in which we saw him capitalise in Milan and at Anfield, and how much would West Ham’s defenders have had in the tank to deal with his attack in the recent win at Upton Park?

It’s a learning process at the top level that Walcott never had. He’s never had a run in either the Arsenal or England teams as a striker, thus making the transition a potentially problematic one. The role he has been given of late—one which surely has a lot to do with the contract situation—is one that works for both him and the team. The rest of the Arsenal players are not slowed down by his inferior technical skill, but he’s still getting goals when he finds an opportunity.

If he decides to stay at Arsenal and listen to Wenger’s advice, this could be the season where Walcott establishes himself as a successful central player rather than a frustrating and frustrated winger.

What do you think?

Sign in with Facebook and be
entered for a chance to
Win a pair of Puma evoPOWER football boots

Terms and Conditions

Why?

  • Sign up in 2 seconds
  • Use your FB profile image
  • No need to remember a password
  • See which of your friends would like this

Note: We don't post to your wall

Login

Comment without logging in

You will need to fill this out each time to comment so why not quickly login with Facebook!

*

What do you think?

Sign in with Facebook and be
entered for a chance to
Win a pair of Puma evoPOWER football boots

Terms and Conditions

Why login with Facebook?

  • Sign up in 2 seconds
  • Use your FB profile image
  • No need to remember a password
  • See which of your friends would like this

Note: We don't post to your wall


  • Hard Ogura
    2 years ago

    I partially agree with you that Walcott can’t not easily beat the defenders but he has never been tried there yet they have promised him since. Why not in a capital cup, some champions league game and already won games to try his luck like the way we have been patient with Giroud?

    Try him as a substitute to see for himself that it was hard other than keeping him in dark every game and when he comes on he scores with easy. He loves the club, he know the league and he is patient for any chance.

    Reply
    • Don Dawson
      2 years ago

      I think with a lot of other suporters, that walcott should be tryed where he feels he is better potioned Don

      Reply
  • Maan Musleh
    2 years ago

    I have always seen Walcott as a super sub. And has never impressed me when he started. Yet he frequently impresses coming on from the bench. For me, I think that’s the best role he can ever play. He is not a natural CF, and he does not seem to develop in the right pace. I think we have more than one replacement for him and it’s time for him to leave if he cannot improve his game.

    Reply
  • Luckyengland
    2 years ago

    Walcott is the most OVERRATED player in History

    Can’t beat defenders, his passing is all backwards, poor decision making.

    I still don’t understand why he got those England Caps (One reason England won’t won anything in the next 100 years!).

    if Walcott is a Spanish, he will only be in the Spain “Z” Team (as a sub)

    Now he is complaining he should be a striker? Overrated at its MAXIMUM!

    Reply
    • Mannersing
      2 years ago

      I can think of 12 more overrated English players than Walcott in the past 3 years, let alone history. The England team is a whole other bag of issues not relevant.

      That said, I think he is currently best as super sub that can come in around 60-65 and burn a D as they all get tired. I think the shots at his intelligence and technical ability are unfounded.

      Have you ever done a job you weren’t into? Have you ever done a job you loved? How much better were you at the job you loved. I say give him a chance in the middle. He’s no target man, but he doesn’t need to be as Giroud can satisfy that need and knock balls down as needed. Podolski, Gervinho, and Santi are scoring anyway.

      I can see him sitting behind Giroud and Podolski upfront by subbing in for Gervinho in more of a LS-RS-CF mold than a ST-LS-RS

      If he leaves, we Gunners definitely have nothing to cry about. I don”t mind if he leaves at all!

      Reply
  • funsho
    2 years ago

    Arsenal need to buy striker bcs by january bcs itss the problem 4arsenal nd fans are nt hpyy do tremendous dat hpen,arsenal is one of the best team in thhe word,nd wy the best team dat is not won a trophy 4so long yrs.i beg the weenger to let the wacolt playin dwing dat wt to play nd c may may is capable to do so,i beg the weenger to buy the striker player dat use left nd right.up arsenal nd gunners 4lif.are wil always lovely arsenal til i die,always gunners 4life.

    Reply
  • Oscar
    2 years ago

    This, for many people, is rellay about which team people here support judging by the way they are responding.The football players and media all seem to be more excited about Theo’s potential than Bale’s. Even before his midweek heroics. Bale seems to have more consistency over his few games he’s played but I’m notsure I’ve seen anything close to what could be referred to as world class. Still it’s consistency that Tottenham desperately need (and to win).At their tender ages consistency is not rellay something fans should be demanding or judging them for. Glimpses of whatever brilliance they may possess should be how we appraise them.In which case it’s Thoe all the way.

    Reply
  • Marty Price
    2 years ago

    Her is clearly a better finisher then Gervinho, or Giroud. AS we can see from the last couple of matches his crosses ar better then anything they are doing now. I think up front with POldi would be a good shot for the Gunners, but if I was he, I would be off to a club that really wants to win. Kroenke has taken every club he owns backwards

    Reply
  • Don Dawson
    2 years ago

    We are in Australia, and the Arsenal was always up there with the big teams, but for the last few years its been 3rd or 4th is ok, well I can say at present, they are a bit of a laughing stock.I am 82 and followed the Arsenal all my life, through thick and thin. but it seems now I am haveing my bigest let downs,sure after the last two games. thank you Don

    Reply